We have been home for just over a week and things are returning to normal. No longer is 3am our preferred waking time and we can now stay up well past 8 at night.
Spring is definitely in the air – not the 30 degree temperatures we have become used to, but certainly temperatures warmer than those we left behind at the start of August.
The grape vine that runs the length of our boundary fence is showing signs of life with green shoots growing on a daily basis.
Poppie and Bella were pleased to see us although Vicki did a great job of pampering them in our absence. They are both asleep on the floor beside the desk as I write, recovering from a day barking at the front gate.
The holiday memories are still close and there are stories to tell.
One night in Positano we wandered down to the beach for a late dinner, no reservation, just figuring we would be able to find a table somewhere.
It was peak season and our options turned out to be limited.
We ended up at one of our less favourite places – Buca di Bacco. We have eaten there before and the food is excellent but the service can be less than friendly and has always felt rushed.
This time, however, we discovered their terrazzo – the roof of the restaurant where we had our own private balcony – and enjoyed a leisurely meal, excellent food and wine (we must talk about Sicilian Chardonnay at some point) and service that couldn’t have been better.
When visiting Matera we discovered that it was a town obsessed with beer – craft beer to be precise. Every bar and restaurant had a range of craft beers which were proudly displayed on its menu.
The task of finding a simple Peroni or a Nastro Azzurro at our hotel was impossible – but they could supply three types of wheat beer and a gaggle of obscure IPAs.
One beer that we were surprised to find was “New Zealand” IPA from Motueka. Who would have thought you could find a kiwi beer in, of all places, Matera. And of course, once we spotted it, we had to try it.
That night we drank Matera’s entire supply of New Zealand IPA dry – both bottles. So, gentle travellers, if you are looking for a taste of home in Matera – you’re too late. Cheers.
We drove from the Amalfi Coast to Matera and back in a rental car. We picked the smallest and cheapest class of car Avis offered so it came as no surprise when we were presented with a bright red Fiat Panda at the rental car office in Sorrento.
The gentleman from Avis joked with us that it was a “red Ferrari” as he helped us shoe-horn our two large suitcases and various other bags into the car.
But our little Ferrari did us proud on the roads to and from Matera – far surpassing the Ford Focus we had earlier in the trip in Chianti – for both power and comfort. It was only when you saw other Panda’s on the road that you realised you were effectively driving an oversized roller skate.
The Fiat was full of useful and thoughtful features to make the trip easier. For example, it came with a holder for a phone on the dashboard which made it easy to follow the GPS directions to Matera and back to Sorrento.
Three days later we returned the car intact to Avis in Sorrento – to what must be the most attractive rental car depot in the world.